Reigning Western Cape drum majorettes champions, Team Hottentots Holland High School (Team HH), successfully defended their title recently at the 2016 provincial championships at the Bellville Velodrome. The team also won the provincial championships in 2011.
The 51-strong team of young women, aged 13 to 18, demonstrated their skill against eight other high school teams, pipping Curro Seniors of Durbanville to the post.
Brilliantly led by marching leader Schene Muller, the team’s hard work and dedication over the last few months has paid off.
“We usually drill for two and half hours, three days a week, but in the lead-up to a competition, we practice every day,” says Darryl Spijkers, teacher-in-charge, and a member of the three-person team that coaches the squad, lead by retired HH teacher, Karin Verster.
Currently ranked fourth in the country, Team HH is gearing up for the national championships, set to take place in Germiston, Gauteng, from Sunday July 3 to Saturday July 9.
“We’ve never before achieved top three, but we’re going all out to do so this year,” says Mr Spijkers. “That has always been our dream. In the lead-up to nationals, we’ll be doing a number of full day practices.”
And the magic formula that results in such wins?
“Hard work, team work, tremendous support from our headmaster Dr Van der Voort, and a combination of excellent and experienced trainers,” says Mr Spijkers.
Looking ahead, Mr Spijkers said: “We hope to remain the Western Province champions in the future, and we want to get to gold in the national, but it won’t be easy. The teams are extremely competitive.
“The giants in drummies are St Dominic’s (Boksburg) and Eldoraigne (Centurion) and they inspire us. It’s an honour to now be challenging them,” he said.
Aside from the thrill one gets from succeeding with all rules the highly technical artistic requirements and adjudicators’ demands, drummies teaches girls to be women, he says.
“It keeps them focused on fitness, teamwork and teaches them life-long lessons about endurance, patience and giving your best.”